Education, the truth about Tuition Fees!
Tuition Fees: Every one knows the Liberal Democrats couldn't deliver their policy on tuition fees. The truth is both Labour and the Conservatives supported higher fees, and as LibDems did not win the General Election, they were unable to carry out our promise without backing from either of the two other parties. Although that's no excuse, they are proud that we made sure the system was as fair as possible.
How much does university cost? Nobody pays a penny for university tuition fees until they have graduated and are earning over £21,000. How much you pay depends on how much you earn after.
And all graduates repay less per month than under the old system which you started to repay at £15,000. If you lose your job or earn less than £21,000, you pay nothing at all. After 30 years, any remaining debt is wiped off.
Can poor students still afford university? Yes, definitely. Nobody has to pay anything until they graduate. And because of the way LibDems have designed the system, the poorest 30 per cent of graduates pay less overall than under the old system.
Liberal Democrats made sure that the new system came with fee waivers, bursaries, a National Scholarship programme and higher maintenance grants for people whose parents earn less than about £42,000.
How do students know if they’re getting a good deal?
Universities now have to provide much more information about things like contact time for lectures and tutorials and the jobs that graduates go on to, so students can make an informed choice.
Why did Liberal Democrats allow tuition fees to increase? Neither the Conservatives nor Labour agreed with LibDems policy to end tuition fees. They both supported the Browne Review, which actually recommended unlimited fees. Given the state of the public finances Labour left the country with, LibDems therefore had to compromise with the Conservatives.
However Liberal Democrats worked hard to make sure that students got the best deal, given the circumstances.
Have you apologised for breaking your pledge?
Yes. Nick Clegg made a public apology in a video. As a party, LibDems have learned from their mistake and will never again make a promise to the British people unless they are absolutely sure they can keep it.
Did you consider a graduate tax instead?
The new system is effectively a 30-year graduate tax, in that graduates repay 9 per cent of their income over £21,000. If they lose their job or their income falls below £21,000, they will not pay anything. LibDems did look at a full graduate tax, but we discovered foreign students or people who move abroad after university would be able to avoid repaying the cost of their tuition.
See Martin Lewis the Money Saving expert's take on this: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/students/student-loans-tuition-fees-changes
Tags: #TuitionFees #GraduateTax